Dr. Michael Harrington, Director of Neurosciences at HMRI, weighs in on mechanisms that keep the brain clean during neurodegenerative diseases:
May 26th, 2016
Doing crossword puzzles and memory-training games and taking Omega-3 fish oil supplements are steps we take to boost our brain health. We do this to keep our mind clear and our head sharp, but how exactly does this process of cleaning differ between the healthy and diseased brain?
According to a recent study published in the journal PLOS Biology, the brain “sweeps” clean dead neurons for it to function properly, but when it comes to neurodegenerative diseases, this cleaning process is impaired.
There are mechanisms that keep the brain clean during neurodegenerative diseases. Typically, when neurons die, their debris needs to be quickly swept away for the surrounding brain tissue to continue functioning properly. There needs to be a balance between highly specialized cells, microglia, that respond by disposing of neurons that express “eat me” signals, according to Dr. Michael Harrington, Director of Neurosciences at Huntington Medical Research Institutes in Pasadena, Calif.
Read the rest of the article here: http://www.medicaldaily.com/clean-dirty-mind-neurodegenerative-diseases-cognitive-function-dead-cells-387918